I have been teaching health to people for over twelve years both one on one and in groups and in that time I have gained some very valuable experience. I think that some of the most significant experiences I have had in my career are those that I would never have expected to be so life changing, for my clients and for myself.
It is expected as a fitness trainer that you will learn better exercises and how to help your clients more effectively as you gain tenure in your career. However, what I didn’t expect was that I was to become a student, submerged in a massive experiment on motivation and what keeps people going month in and month out. I have seen people achieve great success while following a certain plan that another person simply didn’t have the willpower to stick to and therefore failed at reaching their goal. I always find it disheartening when I see a person give up on their goals and their health simply because they didn’t want it badly enough. In this day and age there are so many other obstacles to tackle when it comes to staying healthy, willpower shouldn’t be one of them.
We all know the importance of taking care of ourselves, right? Take a moment to consider how important it is that you eat properly, exercise and rest and recover, then ask yourself if your habits reflect that. What habits are you going to need to change if you wish to play with your children or grandchildren, if you wish to stay active into your seventies and beyond, or even live that long. The thing that keeps people going isn’t motivation, it isn’t community and it isn’t even direction from fitness experts, it is discipline.
I recently launched The Kettlebell Gym, a place where anyone can find functional workouts to do every day. I launched this site for three main reasons: I knew that reliable fitness instruction was already all over the web but can’t be found reliably and I want to be a source that people could rely on for excellent information. More than that, I want to provide structure. Something that an internet search for workout videos doesn’t have and, most importantly, I want people to join a community. In my experience if you have proper instruction and structure, a good community can make the difference between failure and success for many people.
With these tools, I think that people will be able to tackle multiple obstacles to their own personal health dreams. Whether it is weight loss, weight gain or a full night’s sleep; knowledge, structure and community will get you a very long way, but not without discipline. Discipline is what pushes you to train when it is cold and raining and is what makes you turn down the cake at your best friend’s graduation party.
Let’s face it, we can always find a reason to have cake. Motivation is something very different, it is fleeting and fickle, it comes and it goes. Motivation can be turned off and on by a mood, a song or a movie. Motivation can, however, be a powerful tool. A disciplined person may wake up early, see the rain and feel the crisp morning air, put on some AC/DC to get motivated to train.
My point here is it’s okay if sometimes you don’t love the idea of working out and if eating right is a bit of a bummer from time to time. Discipline is what reminds you that with sacrifice comes great reward and that facing a struggle is how you achieve success, not finding a way to continue without struggling. I often hear people saying that they don’t want to deprive themselves of certain things, as if deprivation is always a bad thing. Sometimes, choosing not to do one thing allows you to enjoy another and discipline is the foresight to see that and act upon it. To your continued success on your journey to health, may you have all of the tools, knowledge, structure, community, motivation and discipline to achieve your dreams and beyond.
Until next time,